Movie 411: LaLa Land

Directed by:

Damien Chazelle

Screenplay by:

Damien Chazelle



Release Date:

December 2016


Musical, Drama

The Hook:



An aspiring actress and determined jazz pianist cross paths while pursuing their careers in the heart of Los Angeles. They fall in love and together they weave through the ups and downs of the entertainment business.

The Review

As soon as I saw the preview I just had to watch it. In theaters. Because I’m a fangirl of musicals. Well, most musicals. The really good musicals. Anyway. Not only was it a musical, it was the kind of music that got me. I’m a sucker for this type of sound and couldn’t wait to see how this enhanced the movie. Never mind the plot! Oh, and it had two of my favorite movie people, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Sold!

The Plot . . .

It’s your typical boy meets girl, they fall in love, they have some problems, they have some big problems, they have a big decision to make, dot-dot-dot to be continued. It wasn’t really a “to be continued” in the normal sense of the phrase. Ah, I’ll explain that in a bit. So, it’s your typical romance plot. In this case, it follows an aspiring actress and an aspiring musician and it’s set against the backdrop of LA.

It’s pretty straight forward as far as the story goes. Where it shines is in the presentation.

. . . and Presentation

It’s a musical. The End.

Of course, I’m kidding.

There are so many good things about the presentation that I’m not sure where to start. The story unfolds at a good pace from  the beginning. From the first meeting (traffic!) to setting the character background (a café, an audition, a restaurant, another restaurant) to the moments of song scattered throughout the movie, fabulous.

Before I go any further, however, I would like to say that Emma Stone (Mia) and Ryan Gosling (Sebastian) are awesome! I think when your focal point of the story is a romance, you hope to see that chemistry between the leading lady and the gentleman because, well, that’s your whole movie. And they nailed it (unlike some other movies I know off. Disappointing, really, they are, but not this one!)! Stone has this . . . feisty? . . . energy that shines through this movie and Gosling balances and grounds it, which results in a really solid on-screen duo and a wonderful Hollywood romance.  A modern day Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

The music score is awesome. I can’t say enough about it. It has that old-school jazz with a modern day edge to it and I absolutely love it. It works. It just works. And these musical moments are well executed. It was just so fun to watch!

And here is where I’m throwing a spoiler alert warning because it is this moment that I think is pure genius. The moment that had me #mindblown.


So, yeah. Good acting, check. Good music, check. Good story, check. Check, check, check.

The Verdict

This is an absolute must watch, must own for anyone who is a fan of movies and who can handle musicals. It’s so well done. I can see why it’s won the recognition it has. It’s brilliant!

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In a 140 characters or less: I'm an easy going, movie geek, TV buff, book-loving, melancholy/phlegmatic, Scorpio kinda gal.

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